Another letter came in January that said Trump was removing his name.
A Feb. 16 letter from a Mexican entity, PB Impulsores, said the project was scrapped "given the extreme dislocation of the financial markets." It said there was no money left to refund deposits.
The December letter said Trump was not an investor, but buyers said they were sold on his imprimatur.
"We thought of Donald Trump," Linda Drake said. "If Donald Trump was behind it, it was going to work. . . . I am embarrassed to tell people we got caught up in this."
Ivanka Trump said in 2007 that her father "is the boss" when asked about his role in the project.
"He is involved in every capacity," she said.
In response to a request to interview Donald and Ivanka Trump, Trump Organization issued a statement that said its partner violated an agreement to license the Trump name, missing deadlines to obtain financing and begin construction.
Timothy Hughes, an attorney for Irongate, said the project "will not be going forward" but declined to answer questions.
One buyer sued Trump and Irongate in Los Angeles County Superior Court last month, and more litigation is expected.
"They put their trust in this project and feel betrayed," said Bart Ring, a Woodland Hills attorney who says he represents about 75 buyers who haven't sued.
Homeowners and brokers in Baja welcomed the publicity and higher prices that Trump brought. Now they wish he'd never come.
"It was a two-edged sword that's cutting the wrong way," broker Brian Flock said.
"Everybody is shellshocked. I call it post-Trump syndrome."